One Dancing Year Ends – A New One Begins!

Black and white photo of Ilanga smiling.

BDA notes with great sadness the passing of Urban Nutcracker and Tony Williams Dance Center stalwart and Roxbury native son Ilanga one day before Christmas. Tony writes:

His early years were spent singing nationally and internationally with the 1950s Doo Wop group,The G-Clefs. However, his real passion was as an Afro -Jazz dancer. He danced for many years in both Holland and Greece. He formed dance troupes and toured throughout Europe for several decades. I had the great fortune of meeting him 23 years ago. He helped me immensely with my school and dance company. He was my most important artistic advisor. He also served as our outreach director. He also formed the Urban Nutcracker Doo Wop group with his brother Christian, Gilbert White and John Wyche.

May all who knew and loved him carry some of his joy and enthusiasm into the New Year.


Hip hop crew on a blue-lit stage.

Directed and choreographed by Jennifer WeberThe Hip Hop Nutcracker  is a re-mixed and re-imagined version of the classic, smashing hip hop dance and Tchaikovksy’s timeless music together with a powerhouse cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ, a violinist, and MC Kurtis Blow, one of hip hop’s founding fathers, who opens the show with a short set. Thursday, December 29, 7:30 PM at the Hanover Theatre.


Silver shimmering rectangle with couples and groups dancing below number 2023

Boston Salsa & Bachata 6th Annual New Year’s Eve Gala at The Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts in Cambridge begins at 9:00 PM with a free bachata lesson and the NYE celebration gets going with salsa, bachata, merengue, zouk and kizomba from 10PM-2 AM. Dress to impress!


Boston skyline with fireworks

First Night Boston is back! Free performances and events for all ages begin at ten in the morning Saturday December 31 and the dance events include Chu Ling Dance Academy. Jo-Me Dance plus the puppets of the First Night Parade at 6 PM, Frog Pond Skating Spectacular, amazing ice sculptures and fireworks (twice — 7 PM and midnight). Bundle up and take public transit to Copley Square.


Holiday party gathering with many people of all ages sitting on chairs while one of the attendees looks at the camera and holds two small bunnies.

Rockport’s annual year-end celebration of the arts returns after a two-year hiatus! A wide range of entertainment for adults and children will begin at 6:00 PM on Saturday, December 31 and culminate with a midnight ball drop. Trolleys will circulate among the 14 venues and parking areas. Activities include all kinds of music, dance, poetry, magic, juggling, and puppetry. Kids’ activities at Community House culminate with an early New Year celebration at 8:45 PM. Purchase of a button allows access to all events, and some events are free.


Fireworks over the Northampton city center buildings.

The Northampton Arts Council is thrilled to present the city’s 38th annual New Year’s Eve celebration and festival of the performing arts Saturday, December 31. Fireworks display happens at 6:15 PM, gathering outside the Hotel Northampton for a “ball-raising,” and over 100 arts and entertainment performances to enjoy.


Dancer jumps with both legs bent (one forward and one backward) and both arms extended out to form a wide V shape.

Pantos Project Dance Winter Workshop is a one-day advanced workshop led by Kat Pantos (contemporary), Carolyn Breton Pantos (modern) and production show director of Norwegian cruise line, Amanda Gaudette (hip hop). Dancers will end their day with a yin/restorative yoga class taught by Donna Morin, encouraging  bodies and minds to breathe deeply and recover as we ring in 2023! Tuesday, December 27, 11 AM-4 PM, at Mass Motion (100 Holton Street) in Brighton.


Collage of 3 images of 3 different dance films. From left to right: 5 images of women-presenting performers with different facial expressions; image of a dancer in a room filled with balloons laying on the floor with legs up; image of 2 feet seeming to walk over bricks.

Showcase your short dance film to the world while making it eligible for a special #MYDANCEFILM feature at Lincoln Center for Dance on Camera Festival. 
1. Post your dance films on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter between December 21, 2022 – January 9, 2023.
2.Hashtag and tag #mydancefilm #docf2023 @dancefilms
3. Once your film is posted to your social media account email a video file to with #mydancefilm in the subject heading. Vimeo or YouTube links are acceptable. Note: The filmmaker MUST own the rights to their music or the film will be ineligible. Films should be about three minutes in length and will screen live at Lincoln Center during Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center in New York February 10 – 13, 2023.


Crew + Cast Call poster with call information over white and blue background.

Local indie music video casting director is searching for art director/props master, choreographer and movement performance artists/dancers. All paid positions. Film date is January 8, 2023. Email resume or statement of experience to


Boston Casting is seeking ballerinas for a commercial. Submit contact information (email and phone number), where you are located, ballet experience, headshot/photo and resume/bio to with “BALLERINAS // [YOUR NAME]” as the subject line.


In 1961, The G Clefs, featuring Ilanga (then known as Arnold Scott) peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 with this medley of Pat Best’s “I Understand (Just How You Feel)” and “Auld Lang Syne.”


As the year closes, we have so much to celebrate and look forward to.

Boston Dance Alliance is proud of the work we have done in 2022. Your support makes it possible.

We are committed to continuing to serve the community in all the ways you have come to depend on!

You only have a few more days to make a donation that is eligible for a 2022 tax deduction. The average end of year donation to BDA is $50, and no amount is too small to make a difference. Please help us to continue to serve you and the art form we love.


Remember that BDA’s virtual office is closed this week and will reopen Monday January 2.

Best wishes from all of us at Boston Dance Alliance!

Debra Cash, Executive Director